Musical Discoveries Review
(21 March 2004) Debra Alt has created a mellow, gentle set of lyrics and melodies in A Spirited Mother (Debrasong Music (USA) DS 3983, 2003). “It was created to be a work of lush beauty to soothe, inspire and celebrate the fact that the best interests of our children are only served when we are true to ourselves,” says the artist. Languid tones in soft rock ballads create a peaceful atmosphere with lovely vocals and beautiful harmonies.
Soaring and clear vocals abound throughout this album. This artist has taken her life experiences and transformed them gracefully into messages to teach a lesson. “Teach You to Fly” is a lesson to her daughter about being true to herself while “Moving On” describes the end of her marriage. “One Heart at a Time” has flowing melodies and poignant vocals that tug at the emotions. There seems to be a warmth and honestly in her music, with sometimes folksy and soft rock interludes.
Each song seems woven into the next, creating a tapestry of straightforward harmonies. The ballad, “Just Your Way,” exhibits a gentleness with the aid of background vocals by Nicole Freschette, Mickey DiMichele and Paul Scialabba; Richie Volza on keyboards/piano; John Morello on drums; Mickey DiMichelle on bass; Mario DiMichelle on guitar; and Barbara Wiggin on viola.
Most of the songs on the album were written by Alt. One exception was “Love Will Come to You” written by Emily Saliers with its catchy tune and mandolin riffs by Paul Scialabba and percussion by Wil Guadalupe. The sophistication of her music continues with clarity of vocals. “Never Never Land” lends itself to a jazzy feel with the saxophone stylings of Fred Scerbo.
Each song continues with a story or lesson of life’s experiences. Notably, the exquisite song, “Born of Light” was written for the Children’s Place at Home Safe, a shelter for abused and neglected children. The album ends with “Road to Zion,” written by Mike Hudson, a prayer-like song that expresses the gentleness and intended spirit of the album, “you shall be a blessing.”
The original lush tunes and gorgeous vocals make this CD a standout. Alt has an engaging style intertwining soft rock ballads, jazz and classical elements to create an aura of peacefulness in her music. There is a genuine and inspired feeling of sophistication throughout and leaves you smiling.–Audrey Elliot